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Gov Jim Justice
Gov Jim Justice

Gov. Justice announces start of construction on Oakwood Intersection Improvement Project

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice today announced the beginning of construction on the Oakwood Intersection Improvement Project along U.S. 119 in Kanawha County.

The project will involve establishing a Restricted Crossing U-Turn – commonly known as an “R-CUT” – in the area to improve safety and decrease traffic light wait times. The $5.8 million project will be completed by Mountaineer Contractors, Inc., from Kingwood, WV. 

“I’m so proud of our team with Highways because, when we first bid out this project, it came back as a $30 million job,” Gov. Justice said. “But after that, everybody on our team went to work, beared down, and, lo and behold, they re-bid the project and it came back at $5.8 million. That’s an unbelievable savings for West Virginians on a fantastic project that’s truly going to put us on our way.”

From a design perspective, the R-CUT model is beneficial because it decreases the potential points of conflict that a regular intersection creates and poses no right-of-way issues for the WVDOT. Work completed during the project will also allow for further improvements along U.S. 119.

“Every time we take another step toward providing better access or better livability in areas like this, it makes us better,” Gov. Justice continued. “It makes even more businesses want to come. It just makes us better in every way.”

“Our Governor has a bold vision for the West Virginia Division of Highways, and we’re happy to be a part of that vision,” West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Byrd White said. “It’s also important to remember to drive safely through work zones during construction so that everyone can get home to their families.” 

Traffic control will begin in the area on Friday, Aug. 7 and construction is expected to begin on Monday, Aug. 17. Lane closures will occur during non-peak hours from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. to minimize traffic congestion for commuters.

“This kind of project demonstrates the value of good, sound, technical engineering,” said WVDOT Deputy Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. “Just by looking at it a little differently, we were able to use innovative solutions to save millions of dollars.”

The anticipated completion date for the project, including all lighting installation, is May 2021.

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